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Graham Brink - Columnist

Columnist

My truck lacked AC when I first landed with the Times. Still, I loved pursuing stories along the backroads of Hernando County. It’s where I first began to appreciate the Times’ commitment to the Tampa Bay community. I’ve covered shady companies and way too many hurricanes. I’ve reported about Morocco after 9/11 and had a blast writing about racing a mountain bike 800 miles from the Okefenokee to the Everglades. I crossed over to editing for a dozen years and recently crossed back to become business columnist. My wife makes me laugh. My son makes me want to change the world, at least our little part of it. The truck now has AC, but a good story still fires me up.

  1. Server Nate Combs, of Clearwater, right, busses a table where customers from left, John Kokolakis, of Palm Harbor, Ed O'Brien, of Clearwater, Greg Bopp, of New Port Richey, and Richard Cotter, of Tampa, finish a business lunch on Friday at the Iron Oak New American BBQ in downtown Palm Harbor. Combs said the restaurant is staffed at 30-percent of its capacity. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Times]
  2. Steve Hamilton poses for a portrait alongside his wife, Zhijun Hamilton, at their home in Sun City Center. [MARTHA ASENCIO RHINE  |  Times]
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  4. Un hombre usa una máscara facial mientras camina por una tienda cerrada durante el brote de coronavirus en Chicago. 36 millones de personas han presentado reclamos por beneficios de desempleo , según el Departamento de Trabajo
 (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh) [NAM Y. HUH  |  AP]
  5. More than 35 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits in the last eight weeks. [NAM Y. HUH  |  AP]
  6. Nearly 3.2 million laid-off workers applied for unemployment benefits last week as the business shutdowns caused by the coronavirus outbreak deepened the worst U.S. economic catastrophe in decades. [MARY ALTAFFER  |  AP]
  7. Hospitality workers stage a demonstration over unemployment benefits outside a beauty salon in Orlando where Gov. Ron DeSantis was speaking at a news conference Saturday. [JOHN RAOUX  |  AP]
  8. Taylor Morrison's Esplanade at Artisan Lakes property in Manatee County. [Taylor Morrison]
  9. Aerial view of an empty parking lot of the Westfield Brandon mall due to COVID-19 closures pictured on April 9 in Brandon. [LUIS SANTANA  |  Times]
  10. The exterior of Luekens Wine & Spirits is seen Thursday in Dunedin. [CHRIS URSO  |  Times]
  11. Restaurant worker Glen Pile, left, waits in line to get an unemployment form at a Miami-Dade County library on April 8. [LYNNE SLADKY  |  AP]
  12. Clients line up for food at the Salvation Army's mobile food pantry in St. Petersburg last week. [SCOTT KEELER  |  Times]
  13. Librarian Sharon Howes, right, hands a unemployment application to a driver at the Jan Kaminis Platt Regional Library Monday, April 13, 2020 in Tampa. Floridians have wrestled with the state's broken unemployment benefits system for weeks. [CHRIS URSO      |  Times]
  14. An unidentified employee at the Jimmie B. Keel Regional Library hands an unemployment application to a motorist Monday, April 13, 2020 in Tampa. [CHRIS URSO      |  Times]
  15. The Paycheck Protection Program handed out $350 billion to small businesses affected by the coronavirus crisis. [PAUL SANCYA  |  AP]
  16. The Columbia Restaurant had already reconfigured their dining rooms in accordance with new social distancing guidelines due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On Friday, March 20, 2020 Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis ordered all restaurants to discontinue sit-in dining and offer take-out service only. [BOYZELL HOSEY  |  BOYZELL HOSEY   |   Times]
  17. The number of people collecting unemployment benefits jumped again last week. [LYNNE SLADKY  |  AP]
  18. A worker gets a thumbs up as he hands out paper unemployment applications in south Florida last week. [WILFREDO LEE  |  AP]
  19. A quarter of working residents of the Tampa Bay area have been laid off or furloughed, a report found. [LYNNE SLADKY  |  AP]
  20. Tampa-based Whitney Transport hauls bulk materials to construction sites. [Courtesy of Whitney Transport.]
  21. Michael Newell of Tallahassee is one of the hundreds of thousands of Floridians who has lost his job amid the workplace shutdowns aimed at slowing the spread of the virus that causes the sometimes deadly Covid-19 respiratory disease. [BOBBY CAINA CALVAN  |  AP]
  22. A worker gets a thumbs up as he hands out paper unemployment applications on Tuesday in Hialeah. Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday that the state's heavily criticized unemployment system should now be able to handle the crush of applicants it is receiving because of the coronavirus outbreak. [WILFREDO LEE  |  AP]
  23. More Americans are dipping into their savings due to the coronavirus crisis. [Associated Press]